Mayor: Naperville bar disturbance 'pretty contained'
Naperville officials say a weekend disturbance at the downtown Bar Louie was an "isolated" problem, even though the scuffle sent a police sergeant to the hospital and required nearly 40 officers from four departments to calm things down.
Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Steve Chirico said the city plans to investigate the alcohol-selling practices at Bar Louie, 22 Chicago Ave., to determine what led one patron among a large crowd to throw a bottle that hit a sergeant in the head.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Jason Arres said police are investigating the actions of three people facing charges after one customer's unpaid tab turned into the disturbance that eventually involved roughly 100 people early Saturday morning.
When 17 Naperville officers weren't enough to handle the crowd, Arres said police called in reinforcements from the Aurora and Lisle departments and the DuPage County sheriff's office.
"People weren't heeding the commands. This wasn't 100 people fighting, but it was also not 100 people listening to clear the area," Arres said. "We needed some more help because we were vastly outnumbered."
But in a downtown as busy as Naperville's, Chirico said the scene doesn't mean the area's recent phase of relative calm has come to a close.
After a teacher was fatally stabbed at a downtown bar in 2012 and two college students died in a DUI crash into a water-filled quarry in 2014, the city tightened liquor ordinances, stepped up enforcement and encouraged bar management to communicate about unruly patrons. The downtown has avoided alcohol-related fatalities or major violence since.
"We had three people causing some trouble," Chirico said about Saturday's episode. "It was pretty isolated. It was really pretty contained."
When Naperville officers arrived about 1 a.m., they said they found a crowd of roughly 100 people inside and outside the entrance, and Timothy Caldwell, 30, of Aurora, arguing about his unpaid bill. They took Caldwell into custody and with the help of nearly 20 officers from three other departments, they began trying to disperse the crowd.
Kevin R. Bryant, 32, of Oswego, wouldn't leave, police said. Neither would Tawana L. Hosey, 32, of Oswego, who police say threw a bottle that hit a sergeant in the head.
The sergeant was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville, where he was treated for cuts and bruises and released. Arres said the sergeant has returned to work.
Chirico said he is not aware of any liquor license violations by Bar Louie. A manager on Monday refused to comment.
"The communication between bar owners and the police department has improved greatly. They called right away," Chirico said about the staff at the bar, one of 18 downtown establishments permitted to sell alcohol until 2 a.m. on weekends. "It was good communication on the part of the operator."
If the investigation determines there were violations that require a citation, it would be the first time Chirico has cited Bar Louie in nearly two years as the city's liquor chief. The bar has been cited in the past, he said, but the city did not immediately know how many times.
Two of the people involved with police are facing felony charges, while Caldwell, whose refusal to pay his tab started the disturbance, is facing misdemeanor charges of battery, retail theft and criminal trespass to land, according to the DuPage County state's attorney's office.
Bryant faces a felony charge of resisting or obstructing a police officer and misdemeanor charges of battery and criminal trespass to land; Hosey's charges include felony aggravated battery and a misdemeanor resisting or obstructing a police officer.
State's attorney's spokesman Paul Darrah said Bryant and Hosey appeared Monday in bond court. Bryant is being held on $100,000 bond and must post $10,000 to be freed, while Hosey was released from jail after paying $5,000 of her $50,000 bond.
Both are due in court Feb. 21.
Darrah did not know Monday afternoon if Caldwell had appeared in court.